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CEO of Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg put on leave

Healthy equity nonprofit’s board is investigating Randall Russell, who has led the organization since 2015.
Randall Russell, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, has been placed on administrative leave while the nonprofit's governing board investigates "some concerns."
Randall Russell, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, has been placed on administrative leave while the nonprofit's governing board investigates "some concerns." [ The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg ]
Published Aug. 9|Updated Aug. 10

ST. PETERSBURG — The president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg has been placed on administrative leave by the nonprofit’s governing board.

Randall Russell was placed on leave June 24 while the board investigates “some concerns that have been brought to our attention,” Donna Petersen, the board’s chair, said Tuesday. Petersen, who is dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health, declined to provide details about the investigation. Russell joined the nonprofit in 2015.

“Out of respect for the process and all parties concerned, I am not in a position to say anything further about our president and CEO,” Petersen said in an email.

Three former employees who agreed to speak to a reporter only on condition of anonymity said Russell did not create a good working environment and could be overbearing.

The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, which formed in 2013, is funded by proceeds from the city’s sale of its nonprofit hospital, Bayfront Medical Center, now known as Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. The foundation oversees $164 million in assets dedicated to improving health equity by addressing racial, social and structural disadvantages in Pinellas County. It currently employs 14 people.

For the past two years, the foundation has funded two reporting positions in the Tampa Bay Times newsroom.

Related: Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg provides grant to Tampa Bay Times to fund reporting positions

Russell earned $316,000 in 2019, according to the group’s tax return. He did not return a call or messages seeking comment on Tuesday.

He previously worked as chief executive officer of Lifelong, a Seattle nonprofit that helps those with chronic illness. He also was a federal government consultant rolling out low-income housing, care coordination and HIV services in more than 30 states.

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